Overture: Shifting Ad Display numbers with Partners
The decisions to show ads, how many ads per page, and where on the page the ads should be shown are made by Overture’s partners, and not at Overture.
At Yahoo!, for some pay per click keyword listings, the top four results are shown at the top of the page. For other keywords, only the top two listings are shown.
If four ads are shown, then the top four bids at Overture have a higher internet visibility than the number five listing. If two bids are shown, then the top bids have a higher visibility than the number three listing.
Since this is an inconstant number, keeping an eye on the search results at Yahoo! is necessary for the maximum visibility for your keywords. Yahoo! is free to change the number of ads shown on a page at any given time, thus on one day they might show three ads on a page, the next week it could be two or five.
The real trick comes in when you consider that Overture has more than one large partner. If Yahoo! shows the top four ads, but another partner only shows the top three, then while the number four ad gets a higher visibility at Yahoo than ad five, it does not get a higher visibility than ad five on the other partner, thus ad position three becomes the lowest position desired for maximum visibility.
Keeping abreast of all these numbers and ad positions can be daunting work. However, it is a necessity if one of your website’s goals is to maximize your internet visibility.
Do not get caught up in overbidding to get your desired placement if you can not convert enough visitors into paying customers to afford that position.
Even the lower ad positions do get some visibility, and in many instances choosing a lower ad spot can eliminate those who are just browsing in favor of visitors who are comparison shopping and will buy a product if presented with a solution that fits their needs.
Higher ad positions often mean more visitors, generally lower conversion rates, but the total number of visitors can make up for the lower rates with more total conversions.
Lower ad positions often have a higher conversion rate, but less overall visitors, so less total conversions.